June 2022 Newsletter

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Celebrate Liberation with Pride and Remberance!

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Read the Latest Blog

Of Starfish and Transformation

by Wren Bellavance-Grace

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Maybe you’ve heard the inspirational story about the starfish. It’s often told as a celebration of a young child’s hope triumphing over a curmudgeonly elder’s resignation to the inevitability of encroaching doom. But taking those signifiers out of the story, and it goes something like this:

Person One arrives on the beach one morning to discover that an overnight storm has stranded thousands of starfish all along the beach, all of them helpless to move back to the safety of the sea.

Person One begins picking up starfish and throwing them back into the ocean.

Person Two arrives, inquires, and scoffs. “There are way more starfish here than you can throw. You’re wasting your time. What little you do won’t make a difference in the face of this massive stranding.”

Person One considers, pauses, picks up another starfish and throws it into the sea, saying, “It made a difference to that one.”

Let’s suspend our inner critical voices about systemic responses to climate crises and the unintended consequences when humans interfere with the natural world. The tale’s simple inspirational message is, choose hope. Try. Act anyway. To quote Mahatma Gandhi, “Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.”

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NER Events


Congratulations Joy

This June, Joy Blanchette celebrates 20 years of UUA service as Northern New England District and subsequently New England Region administrator! Concluding this legacy of faithful service, she will be retiring at the end of June.

We welcome you to choose 1 of the 2 options to send her well wishes.

  • Write Joy a message and feel free to include any photos on our Kudoboard. Click 'add board' on the left corner of the page to add your message & image. 
  • Want to send a physical card? Mail it to ATTN: Chanel Gomez/Hilary Allen at 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210. 

We know that Joy’s talents and presence have touched many of you, so we invite you to help us celebrate Joy! 

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Sustaining Practice!

Our community of practice will reconvene In September 2022. Specific dates, theme, and pre-work will be communicated in August. Potential themes from interest shared thus far include Board Practice/Governance & Spiritual Leadership, Culture Change through Centering in Gifts, and Liberating Covenant & Culture Change. We also expect during the next year to further explore themes of culture change through the interplay of Spiritual Leadership and action for social justice.

Thank you to all who participated in our first three gatherings. Let us know how you are sustaining practices of Spiritual Leadership in your congregation.

If you have not already joined the community of practice, you can do so using this form. The community is open to all — religious professionals and laity. Once you join, you will automatically receive registration details and the pre-work assignment before each gathering.

To learn more, follow these links:

  • General description of this community of practice and a listing of scheduled gatherings
  • Community Expectations and Covenant Practice
  • The Spiritual Leadership for Culture Change Resources list, which includes links to pre-work assignments and follow up notes, if any, for each session:
  • January 2022 Gathering – (Re)orientation to Practices of Spiritual Leadership in support of our response to and shaping of culture change
  • March 2022 Gathering Responding to Racism through the Practices of Spiritual Leadership

News & Events

UU the Vote Legacy Fellowship Program 

UU the Vote and UU College of Social Justice are excited to announce the UU the Vote Legacy Fellowship for UU Young Adults and/or Black, Indigenous, and people of color Unitarian Universalists. This Fellowship recognizes and supports leaders in our faith community who carry on the legacy of activism and organizing that embody our faith through justice organizing and activism.

The fellowship is a 6-month program (July-November) that will recognize 6 to 8 individuals to support your work and expand your skills and capacity. Fellows will be awarded $5,000 with an additional $1,500 project budget.\

Join us for our Open House on June 7th at 7pm ET for a 45 minute informational event where you will be able to meet the Fellowship Committee and ask questions about the program and application process. 

RSVP and Learn More


Compensation and Staffing Survey

Collecting information about actual staff compensation from congregations has been a longtime desire of our team. As we revise our approach to the UUA Salary Recommendations, learning more about current staffing and compensation in our congregations will help ensure that our recommendations are useful and realistic. It is critical for us to collect information from as many congregations as possible, thus we are grateful to you for taking the time to complete the Compensation and Staffing Survey.

The staff member or lay leader most familiar with staff hours and compensation should complete the survey. We think they will find it quite intuitive, but we advise everyone to start by reading our Compensation and Staffing Survey LeaderLab page, which outlines the information needed, provides a PDF preview, offers tips for completion, and links to the survey itself. Once the necessary information is gathered, it should take just a minute or two to enter your congregational information plus 1-2 minutes per employee. The survey will be open through June 10 to enable even more congregations to participate.

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For those who have been missing the physical experience, GA 2022 will also feature face-to-face interactions, hanging banners, a browsable exhibit hall, meals with friends old and new, local site attractions, and more! Join us June 22 - 26, 2022 online or in-person in Portland, Oregon.

Register and learn more.


Youth & Young Adult Support

Lifespan Faith Engagement is offering travel reimbursements through the Katie Tyson and Davidoff Funds. Youth and young adults traveling to UUA events can request travel reimbursement by providing anticipated costs or travel receipts.

Learn More 

Small Congregations at GA 

Are you a member of a smaller congregation? The Small Congregations Task Force, part of the Congregational Life Staff Team, has reviewed the workshops being offered at General Assembly and curated a list we recommend for small congregations. These workshops offer ideas and programs that can help you thrive. You can read the full list, with descriptions, at our blog post, Small Congregations at GA 2022. To access these workshops you must be registered for GA and it’s not too late to do that for in person or virtual attendance.

UUA President Application Process is Open

Association’s next chief executive and spiritual leader to be elected at General Assembly 2023. A new Unitarian Universalist Association president—the public, spiritual, and executive leader of the UU movement and the UUA organization and staff—will be elected at General Assembly 2023, for a six-year term.

The deadline to submit applications is July 15, 2022 and nominees will be announced on November 15, 2022.  Application form 

Notable Dates in June:


Explore the Full UUA Events Calendar for more!

Pandemic Strategies (Including COVID-19)

We thank all congregations whose generous contributions to the Region

and to our UUA Annual Program Fund make all of our work possible.

We offer learning opportunities throughout the New England Region for congregational members, lay leaders, and religious professionals.

Regional staff services and support are available to UU congregations year-round.

Contact us!

(617) 948-6415


Website: uua.org/new-england

Staff Contacts

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